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The many skills of Tammi
“Trini to the bone!” That’s how Tammi Sulliman, a Trinidad-born television journalist based in the Cayman Islands, could easily be described. Sulliman, 34, who grew up in Cantaro, Santa Cruz, is one of the Grand Cayman’s leading female journalists and is currently employed at Cayman 27, a local television station. She describes herself as a “jack of all trades” at the station, since she is not only an anchorwoman, but a camerawoman, producer, scriptwriter, standby weathergirl and host of current affairs programme, The Panel. Sulliman, speaking with the T&T Guardian in a recent interview at the United Nations Environment Programme Global Land and Ocean Connections 2 Conference, Montego Bay, Jamaica, attributed her multitasking skills to her Trinidadian heritage.
She said is proud to display her nationality wherever she goes. “I have been afforded all of these skills within the television news industry that allow me to move around wherever I need to move and that certainly makes me more marketable. The end result is a woman who is very proud to always represent her country no matter where her voice or her face is being heard or seen,” she said Sulliman attended St Joseph Convent, Port-of-Spain and the University of Toronto. She admitted that at university she was still searching for her calling when the journalism bug bit her. “I started to become involved in the student politics and in the life and the University of Toronto when somebody approached me about writing for the paper and I said ‘Ok that’s interesting.’
“There came a point where I had to choose, am I going to become involved in politics or am I going to be someone who is going to write about it? I chose to write about it,” she explained. Sulliman’s career in journalism progressed from there as she became the newspaper’s news editor and subsequently, the editor-in-chief.
She later worked at a Canada-based newspaper and was approached for a position at a television station. “I went in, did a test and the rest is history,” she said. Sulliman said she dreams of coming back to T&T and building a life with her nine-year-old daughter Leila. “Tammi is not 100 per cent herself until she is in the land of the humming bird and one day hopefully one I will make it back,” she said. She said she is a single mother and “everything I do is for my daughter.” “I think that forces me to be even better at what I do because I know she is watching and she sees her mummy at work,” Sulliman said. While coming home is her aspiration Sulliman said she finds solace in working in Grand Cayman because, “I am still within the region and in the West Indies.”
She said she strongly believes in the idea of Pan Caribbeanism (regional integration). “So as long as I am contributing to a Caribbean island I feel ok within myself. In the Cayman islands it is a very diverse community, very similar to what we have in T&T,” she said.
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